Satan Delights in Making Use of ‘Secret’ Sins
How and why Satan loves “hidden” sin
For a moment, let’s expose Satan’s plan for “hidden” sins.
If we resist his attempts to get us to commit adultery, he convinces us to watch porn with the rationale that at least we are not committing adultery. He uses the rationale that at least we are not viewing pornography to encourage us to indulge in sensual thoughts if we refuse to view pornography. Specifically, he does this because he is aware of what Jesus said about those who stare at a woman with lustful purpose: “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
The temptation to commit other sins will increase if you convince yourself that the advice in this paragraph does not apply to you because, after all, you are not committing sexual sins.
When attempting to tempt people, why does Satan favor “hidden” sins? For he is aware of their deleterious effects: “desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it has grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15). The Holy Spirit’s work in and through our lives in the world grieves and is “quenched” when we sin, whether or not our transgressions are public knowledge (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Oswald Chambers cautioned, “Spiritual confusion can only be vanquished through obedience,” and “even the very tiniest item that we allow in our lives that is not under the direction of the Holy Spirit is totally sufficient to account for spiritual confusion.”
Sins kept “secret” and public worship
Satan, paradoxically, delights in our “hidden” misdeeds while we present a religious front to the world. It’s easy to convince ourselves that our “private” sins aren’t affecting anybody else, or that we wouldn’t be involved in religious activity like preaching, leading Bible studies, attending worship services, or reading articles like this one if they were.
However, our spiritual endeavors have little impact on society as a whole since the Holy Spirit cannot completely use a person who persists in unconfessed sin (cf. Romans 8:6-8). We’ve “lost our taste for salt” and “buried” our lights (Matthew 5:13, Matthew 5:15). The world will not be changed by any of them if this happens.
Tozer’s observation that “if the Holy Spirit were withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference” rings true because of the allure and prevalence of “hidden” sin. Were the Holy Spirit to have been removed from the New Testament church, ninety-five percent of their activities would have ceased, and everyone would have noticed.
How powerful are your batteries, if at all?
You’ve probably been in this situation before: the power goes out late at night and you have to go searching for a flashlight. In the dark, you find one and turn it on, but the bulb gives forth very little light. However, even after switching out the batteries, the light still won’t turn on. The flashlight’s battery connections had rusted from lack of use.
The light source can’t be used to fight the darkness it was designed to overcome unless rust is removed and batteries are replaced.
Is the prevailing spiritual gloom of our time lessening or increasing in intensity?